Article X, West Virginia Constitution
|West Virginia Constitution|
|Preamble • I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII • XIII • XIV|
| Text of Section 1:
Taxation and Finance
Subject to the exceptions in this section contained, taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the state, and all property, both real and personal, shall be taxed in proportion to its value to be ascertained as directed by law. No one species of property from which a tax may be collected shall be taxed higher than any other species of property of equal value; except that the aggregate of taxes assessed in any one year upon personal property employed exclusively in agriculture, including horticulture and grazing, products of agriculture as above defined, including livestock, while owned by the producer, and money, notes, bonds, bills and accounts receivable, stocks and other similar intangible personal property shall not exceed fifty cents on each one hundred dollars of value thereon and upon all property owned, used and occupied by the owner thereof exclusively for residential purposes and upon farms occupied and cultivated by their owners or bona fide tenants, one dollar; and upon all other property situated outside of municipalities, one dollar and fifty cents; and upon all other property situated within municipalities, two dollars; and the Legislature shall further provide by general law for increasing the maximum rates, authorized to be fixed, by the different levying bodies upon all classes of property, by submitting the question to the voters of the taxing units affected, but no increase shall be effective unless at least sixty percent of the qualified voters shall favor such increase, and such increase shall not continue for a longer period than three years at any one time, and shall never exceed by more than fifty percent the maximum rate herein provided and prescribed by law; and the revenue derived from this source shall be apportioned by the Legislature among the levying units of the state in proportion to the levy laid in said units upon real and other personal property; but property used for educational, literary, scientific, religious or charitable purposes, all cemeteries, public property, the personal property, including livestock, employed exclusively in agriculture as above defined and the products of agriculture as so defined while owned by the producers may by law be exempted from taxation; household goods to the value of two hundred dollars shall be exempted from taxation. The Legislature shall have authority to tax privileges, franchises, and incomes of persons and corporations and to classify and graduate the tax on all incomes according to the amount thereof and to exempt from taxation incomes below a minimum to be fixed from time to time, and such revenues as may be derived from such tax may be appropriated as the Legislature may provide. After the year nineteen hundred thirty-three, the rate of the state tax upon property shall not exceed one cent upon the hundred dollars valuation, except to pay the principal and interest of bonded indebtedness of the state now existing.
| Text of Section 1a:
Exemptions from and Additional Adjustments to Ad Valorem Property Taxation
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections one and one-b of this article, household goods and personal effects, if such household goods or personal effects are not held or used for profit, and all intangible personal property shall be exempt from ad valorem property taxation: Provided, That intangible personal property may be made subject to such taxation only to the extent provided by the Legislature by general law not inconsistent with this section.
The Legislature shall not impose ad valorem property taxation upon money, bank deposits and other investments determined by such law to be in the nature of deposits in a bank or other financial institution, or upon pensions, moneys or investments determined by the Legislature in such law to be in lieu of or otherwise in the nature of pensions.
The Legislature by general law may exempt from such taxation any amount of the value of all or certain intangible personal property and any type, group or class of such intangibles but such exemptions shall be uniform throughout the state. No tax imposed upon such intangibles shall be at a rate or rates in excess of the maximum rate permitted to be imposed upon personal property employed exclusively in agriculture as provided in sections one, one-b or ten of this article, as the case may be, in the county wherein the intangible personal property has situs, as such situs is determined by the Legislature in such general law.
The valuations with respect to property acquired or created subsequent to any statewide reappraisal and the valuations with respect to any intangible personal property subjected to ad valorem property taxation pursuant to this section shall be allocated and phased-in over a period of years and be valued with respect to the same base year as other property subject to ad valorem property taxation in order to provide for equitable and similar treatment of such property subsequently acquired or created or such intangible personal property as compared to similarly situated previously existing property of similar value whose owner is receiving the benefit of any allocation and phase-in allowed pursuant to section one-b of this article.
Any intangible personal property which would be subject to ad valorem property taxation under prior provisions of this Constitution shall continue to be subjected to such taxation as provided by and in accordance with current statutory law for the assessment of such taxes upon such property, which laws are hereby validated for such purpose or purposes, until the first day of July in the year one thousand nine hundred eighty-five or until the first statewide reappraisal of property pursuant to section one-b of this article shall be first implemented and employed to fix values for ad valorem property taxation, whichever shall last occur, and thereafter no intangible personal property shall be subject to such taxation save for and except as provided by the Legislature by general law enacted after the ratification of the amendment of this section in the year one thousand nine hundred eighty-four.
| Text of Section 1b:
Property Tax Limitation and Homestead Exemption Amendments of 1982
Ad valorem property taxation shall be in accordance with this section and other applicable provisions of this article not inconsistent with this section.
| Text of Subsection A:
Value; Rate of Assessment; Exceptions
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Constitution and except as otherwise provided in this section, all property subject to ad valorem taxation shall be assessed at sixty percent of its value, as directed to be ascertained in this section, except that the Legislature may from time to time, by general law agreed to by two thirds of the members elected to each house, establish a higher percentage for the purposes of this paragraph, which percentage shall be uniform as to all classes of property defined in section one of this article, but not more than one hundred percent of such value.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, for the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-two, and the first day of July of each year thereafter until the values may be fixed as a result of the first statewide reappraisal hereinafter required, assessments shall be made under the provisions of current statutory law, which is hereby validated for such purpose until and unless amended by the Legislature. Assessment and taxation in accord with this section shall be deemed to be equal and uniform for all purposes.
| Text of Subsection B:
Determination of Value
The Legislature shall provide by general law for periodic statewide reappraisal of all property, which reappraisal shall be related for all property to a specified base year which, as to each such reappraisal, shall be uniform for each appraisal for all classes of property and all counties. In such law, the Legislature shall provide for consideration of (1) trends in market values over a fixed period of years prior to the base year, (2) the location of the property, and (3) such other factors and methods as it may determine: Provided, That with respect to reappraisal of all property upon the base year of one thousand nine hundred eighty, such reappraisals are deemed to be valid and in compliance with this section: Provided, however, That with respect to farm property, as defined from time to time by the Legislature by general law, the determination of value shall be according to its fair and reasonable value for farming purposes, as may be defined by general law.
The results of each statewide appraisal shall upon completion be certified and published and errors therein may be corrected, all as provided by general law. The first such statewide appraisal shall be completed, certified and published on or before the thirty-first day of March, one thousand nine hundred eighty-five, for use when directed by the Legislature.
The Legislature shall further prescribe by general law the manner in which each statewide reappraisal shall be employed to establish the value of the various separately assessed parcels or interests in parcels of real property and various items of personal property subject to ad valorem property taxation, the methods by which increases and reductions in value subsequent to the base year of each statewide reappraisal shall be ascertained, and require the enforcement thereof.
| Text of Subsection C:
General Homestead Exemption
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Constitution to the contrary, the first twenty thousand dollars of assessed valuation of any real property, or of personal property in the form of a mobile home, used exclusively for residential purposes and occupied by the owner or one of the owners thereof as his residence who is a citizen of this state and who is sixty-five years of age or older or is permanently and totally disabled as that term may be defined by the Legislature, shall be exempt from ad valorem property taxation, subject to such requirements, limitations and conditions as shall be prescribed by general law.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution to the contrary, the Legislature shall have the authority to provide by general law for an exemption from ad valorem property taxation in an amount not to exceed the first twenty thousand dollars of value of any real property, or of personal property in the form of a mobile home, used exclusively for residential purposes and occupied by the owner or one of the owners thereof as his residence who is a citizen of this state, and who is under sixty-five years of age and not totally and permanently disabled: Provided, That upon enactment of such general law, this exemption shall only apply to such property in any county in which the property was appraised at its value as of the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred eighty, or thereafter, as determined by the Legislature, and this exemption shall be phased in over such period of time not to exceed five years from the date such property was so appraised, or such longer time as the Legislature may determine by general law: Provided, however, That in no event shall any one person and his spouse, or one homestead be entitled to more than one exemption under these provisions: Provided further, That these provisions are subject to such requirements, limitations and conditions as shall be prescribed by general law.
The Legislature shall have the authority to provide by general law for property tax relief to citizens of this state who are tenants of residential or farm property.
| Text of Subsection D:
Additional Limitations on Value
With respect to the first statewide reappraisal, pursuant to this section, the resulting increase in value in each and every parcel of land or interest therein and various items of personal property subject to ad valorem property taxation over and above the previously assessed value shall be allocated over a period of ten years in equal amounts annually.
The Legislature may by general law also provide for the phasing in of any subsequent statewide reappraisal of property.
| Text of Subsection E:
Levies for Free Schools
In equalizing the support of free schools provided by state and local taxes, the Legislature may require that the local school districts levy all or any portion of the maximum levies allowed under section one of this article which has been allocated to such local school districts.
Within the limits of the maximum levies permitted for excess levies for schools or better schools in sections one and ten of this article, the Legislature may, in lieu of the exercise of such powers by the local school districts as heretofore provided, submit to the voters, by general law, a statewide excess levy, and if it be approved by the required number of voters, impose such levy, subject however to all the limitations and requirements for the approval of such levies as in the case of a district levy. The law submitting the question to the voters shall provide, upon approval of the levy by the voters, for the assumption of the obligation of any local excess levies for schools then in force theretofore authorized by the voters of a local taxing unit to the extent of such excess levies imposed by the state and so as to avoid double taxation of those local districts. The Legislature may also by general law reserve to the school districts such portions of the power to lay authorized excess levies as it may deem appropriate to enable local school districts to provide educational services which are not required to be furnished or supported by the state. If a statewide excess levy for the support of free schools is approved by the required majority, the revenue from such a statewide excess levy shall be deposited in the state treasury and be allocated first for the local obligations assumed and thereafter for such part of the state effort to support free schools, by appropriation or as the law submitting the levy to the voters shall require, as the case may be.
The defeat of any such proposed statewide excess levy for school purposes shall not in any way abrogate or impair any local existing excess levy for such purpose nor prevent the adoption of any future local excess levy for such purpose.
| Text of Subsection F:
In the event of any inconsistency between any of the provisions of this section and other provisions of this Constitution, the provisions of this section shall prevail. The Legislature shall have plenary power to provide by general law for the equitable application of this article and, as to taxes to be assessed prior to the first statewide reappraisal, to make such laws retroactive to the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-two, or thereafter.
| Text of Section 1c:
Exemptions from Ad Valorem Taxation of Certain Personal Property of Inventory and Warehouse Goods, with Phase in to Full Exemption over Five-Year Period
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Constitution, tangible personal property which is moving in interstate commerce through or over the territory of the State of West Virginia, or which was consigned from a point of origin outside the State to a warehouse, public or private, within the State for storage in transit to a final destination outside the State, whether specified when transportation begins or afterward, but in any case specified timely for exempt status determination purposes, shall not be deemed to have acquired a tax situs in West Virginia for purposes of ad valorem taxation and shall be exempt from such taxation, except as otherwise provided in this section. Such property shall not be deprived of such exemption because while in the warehouse the personal property is assembled, bound, joined, processed, disassembled, divided, cut, broken in bulk, relabeled, or repackaged for delivery out of state, unless such activity results in a new or different product, article, substance or commodity, or one of different utility. Personal property of inventories of natural resources shall not be exempt from ad valorem taxation unless required by paramount federal law.
The exemption allowed by the preceding paragraph shall be phased in over a period of five consecutive assessment years, at the rate of one fifth of the assessed value of the property per assessment year, beginning the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven.
| Text of Section 2:
Acts, 1970 Reg. Sess., Ch. 21; and ratified on November 3, 1970.
| Text of Section 3:
Receipts and Expenditures of Public Moneys
No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of an appropriation made by law, and on a warrant issued thereon by the auditor; nor shall any money or fund be taken for any other purpose than that for which it has been or may be appropriated or provided. A complete and detailed statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public moneys shall be published annually.
| Text of Section 4:
Limitation on Contracting of State Debt
No debt shall be contracted by this state, except to meet casual deficits in the revenue, to redeem a previous liability of the state, to suppress insurrection, repel invasion or defend the state in time of war; but the payment of any liability other than that for the ordinary expenses of the state, shall be equally distributed over a period of at least twenty years.
| Text of Section 5:
Power of Taxation
The power of taxation of the Legislature shall extend to provisions for the payment of the state debt, and interest thereon, the support of free schools, and the payment of the annual estimated expenses of the state; but whenever any deficiency in the revenue shall exist in any year, it shall, at the regular session thereof held next after the deficiency occurs, levy a tax for the ensuing year, sufficient with the other sources of income, to meet such deficiency, as well as the estimated expenses of such year.
| Text of Section 6:
Credit of State Not to Be Granted in Certain Cases
The credit of the state shall not be granted to, or in aid of any county, city, township, corporation or person; nor shall the state ever assume, or become responsible for the debts or liabilities of any county, city, township, corporation or person. The investment of state or public funds shall be subject to procedures and guidelines heretofore or hereafter established by the Legislature for the prudent investment of such funds.
| Text of Section 6a:
Appropriations and Taxation for the Benefit of Counties, Municipalities or Other Political Subdivisions of the State
Notwithstanding the provisions of section six of this article, (1) the Legislature may appropriate state funds for use in matching or maximizing grants-in-aid for public purposes from the United States or any department, bureau, commission or agency thereof, or any other source, to any county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state, under such circumstances and subject to such terms, conditions and restrictions as the Legislature may prescribe by law, and (2) the Legislature may impose a state tax or taxes or dedicate a state tax or taxes or any portion thereof for the benefit of and use by counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions of the state for public purposes, the proceeds of any such imposed or dedicated tax or taxes or portion thereof to be distributed to such counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions of the state under such circumstances and subject to such terms, conditions and restrictions as the Legislature may prescribe by law.
| Text of Section 7:
Duties of County Authorities in Assessing Taxes
County authorities shall never assess taxes, in any one year, the aggregate of which shall exceed ninety-five cents per one hundred dollars' valuation, except for the support of free schools; payment of indebtedness existing at the time of the adoption of this constitution; and for the payment of any indebtedness with the interest thereon, created under the succeeding section, unless such assessment, with all questions involving the increase of such aggregate, shall have been submitted to the vote of the people of the county, and have received three fifths of all the votes cast for and against it.
| Text of Section 8:
Bonded Indebtedness of Counties, Etc.
No county, city, school district, or municipal corporation, except in cases where such corporations have already authorized their bonds to be issued, shall hereafter be allowed to become indebted, in any manner, or for any purpose, to an amount, including existing indebtedness, in the aggregate, exceeding five per centum on the value of the taxable property therein to be ascertained by the last assessment for state and county taxes, previous to the incurring of such indebtedness; nor without, at the same time, providing for the collection of a direct annual tax on all taxable property therein, in the ratio, as between the several classes or types of such taxable property, specified in section one of this article, separate and apart from and in addition to all other taxes for all other purposes, sufficient to pay, annually, the interest on such debt, and the principal thereof, within, and not exceeding thirty-four years. Such tax, in an amount sufficient to pay the interest and principal on bonds issued by any school district not exceeding in the aggregate three per centum of such assessed value, may be levied outside the limits fixed by section one of this article: Provided, That no debt shall be contracted under this section, unless all questions connected with the same, shall have been first submitted to a vote of the people, and have received three fifths of all the votes cast for and against the same.
| Text of Section 9:
Municipal Taxes to Be Uniform
The Legislature may, by law, authorize the corporate authorities of cities, towns and villages, for corporate purposes, to assess and collect taxes; but such taxes shall be uniform, with respect to persons and property within the jurisdiction of the authority imposing the same.
| Text of Section 10:
School Levy and Bond Amendment
Notwithstanding any other provision of the Constitution to the contrary, the maximum rates authorized and allocated by law for tax levies on the several classes of property for the support of public schools may be increased in any school district for a period not to exceed five years, and in an amount not to exceed one hundred percent of such maximum rates, if such increase is approved, in the manner provided by law, by at least a majority of the votes cast for and against the same.
Notwithstanding any other provision of the Constitution to the contrary, the maximum rates provided for tax levies by school districts on the several classes of property may be used entirely for current expense purposes; and all levies required for principal and interest payments on any bonded indebtedness, now or hereafter contracted, not to exceed five per cent on the value of the taxable property therein, the value to be ascertained in accordance with section eight of this article, shall be laid separate and apart and in addition to such maximum rates, but in the same proportions as such maximum rates are levied on the several classes of property.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section eight of this article relating to a vote of the people or any other provisions of this Constitution, a county board of education may contract indebtedness and issue bonds for public school purposes as provided by law, if, when submitted to a vote of the people of the county, in the manner provided by law, the question of contracting indebtedness and issuing bonds is approved by a majority of the votes cast for and against the same.